- the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
- an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
- determination; resoluteness.
- the subject in hand; the point at issue.
- practical result, effect, or advantage: to act to good purpose.
- to set as an aim, intention, or goal for oneself.
- to intend; design.
- to resolve (to do something): He purposed to change his way of life radically.
- to have a purpose.
- on purpose, by design; intentionally: How could you do such a thing on purpose?
- to the purpose, relevant; to the point: Her objections were not to the purpose.
Origin of purpose
SynonymsSee more synonyms for purpose on Thesaurus.com
- the reason for which anything is done, created, or exists
- a fixed design, outcome, or idea that is the object of an action or other effort
- fixed intention in doing something; determinationa man of purpose
- practical advantage or useto work to good purpose
- that which is relevant or under consideration (esp in the phrase to or from the purpose)
- archaic purport
- on purpose intentionally
- to intend or determine to do (something)
Word Origin and History for on purpose
c.1300, "intention, aim, goal," from Anglo-French purpos, Old French porpos "aim, intention" (12c.), from porposer "to put forth," from por- "forth" (from Latin pro- "forth;" see pur-) + Old French poser "to put, place" (see pose (v.1)). On purpose "by design" is attested from 1580s; earlier of purpose (early 15c.).
late 14c., from Anglo-French purposer "to design," Old French porposer "to intend, propose," variant of proposer (see propose).
Idioms and Phrases with on purpose
Deliberately, intentionally, as in He left the photo out of the story on purpose. Shakespeare's use of this idiom was among the earliest; it appears in The Comedy of Errors (4:3): “On purpose shut the doors against his way.”
accidentally on purpose. Seemingly accidentally but actually deliberately, as in She stepped on his foot accidentally on purpose. This generally jocular phrase was first recorded in 1862.